This week's ripe with super-fun and mostly affordable eating and drinking dates, whether it involves watching chefs duke it out at the farmers market or sipping some swell suds at a neighborhood brewfest.
On Saturday, Palace Kitchen's Dezi Bonow will battle Serafina's Josh Green in an Iron Chef-like showdown at the U-District Farmers Market. Ready, Set, Go... Cook was dreamed up 16 years ago to help show shoppers how to turn what they picked up at the market into something very special. A neat wrinkle was added a few years ago, requiring participating chefs to use items from the neighboring U-District Food Bank's pantry, demonstrating that it's possible to create delicious, nutritious meals on a tight budget. The cooking starts at 10, and -- full disclosure -- I am thrilled to be one of the judges this year, along with Rebekah Denn and potato farmer extraordinaire, Brent Olsen. The ever-bubbly Naomi Kakiuchi returns as emcee.
If you're looking for an excuse to go to the Woodland Park Zoo AND sip some wine, jump on board the Tasting Flight on Thursday (8/9, 6pm-9pm). This after-hours fundraiser features more than 30 wineries and offers grown-ups the opportunity to visit the zoo's residents when the place is peaceful and quiet. Well, except for the live music. Tickets are just $25 in advance. Must be 21 and older to attend.
The 4-Corners Brewfest on Saturday in Shoreline is right neighborly, but everyone's welcome, especially is they're fans of the ever-growing lineup of craft breweries pouring. This year's lineup includes all-stars such as Pike Brewing and Lazy Boy, along with loads of under-the-radar makers of all things malty and hoppy including the brand-new Reuben's Brewing. (Thanks to Washington Beer Blog for the intell!) Tickets are $30, which includes food from Shoreline restaurants and the chance to dance to a bluegrass band. (There are also designated driver tickets for $15.)
And, looking ahead, the Pike Place Market Foundation's annual Sunset Supper is Friday, August 17. Always a tasty time, this moveable feast features bites from Market restaurants, as well as all sorts of interesting beer, wine and samples from local distilleries. General admission tickets are $100 apiece and proceeds the good work done by the Pike Market Medical Clinic, Senior Center, Food Bank and the Child Care/Preschool program.